It is quite common to find naysayers and doomers. They’re ubiquitous on the internet, in politics, the news, etc. A rarer find is someone who sees the dismal state of things and puts forth a creative way to solve a problem. Among these few positive forces I can think of, Peter Thiel is the most dynamic character I have read about. Yesterday, Forbes online published a great profile of Thiel that gives an interesting overview of his ideas and projects:
Almost every problem–the shortcomings of our political and educational systems, the lingering financial disaster, market bubbles, energy crises, the failed promises of the developing world, resource-based wars–stems from what he calls “stalled technological innovation.” What a better place this would be, he often muses, if we could press the reset button and go back to the late 1950s and ’60s and realize the predictions of science fiction that failed to materialize: ubiquitous space travel and colonization, robots à la the Jetsons, underwater cities, desalinization, reforestation of deserts and much more. Because we’re all running harder and harder just to stay in place, the only salvation is big scientific breakthroughs.

It would be easy to write off Thiel as a “wackaloon,” as one political blogger has called him. Indeed, Thiel is putting serious money behind companies and groups bent on extending life, colonizing on ocean platforms, commercializing space, promoting so-called friendly artificial intelligence and leapfrogging DNA sequencing, among other causes.”

One can say what they will about the feasibility of Thiel’s plans or opinions, but at least the man isn’t using taxpayer money to inflate his ego or find his place in history (unlike our modern political class). In these times, we need visionaries who act on their beliefs and take their own resources to fill voids and influence others. I’ll be keeping my eye on Thiel in the years to come – campaigning for him.

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